In late February, Commonwealth’s president, Michael Price, attended the Iowa Nebraska ESOP Association Winter Meeting in Cedar Rapids with a few of our employee owners. They were able to attend several ESOP-focused seminars and network with a great group of employee owners from several other ESOP companies across Iowa and Nebraska.

During the lunch session, attended by almost 180 people, the ESOP association presented some awards. In addition to “ESOP Employee of the Year” and “ESOP Company of the Year”, they also presented a new award called “The Rising Star Award”. This award is for a new ESOP company that is especially engaged, motivated and committed to promoting their ESOP and ownership culture.

The presenter started with explaining the criteria for the award and then began to describe the winning company, all the while being guarded and doing a good job in developing a bit of excitement and anticipation of who the winner might be.

Price relayed the excitement he felt: “As I listened to the presenter describe the company, its employees, its operations … I knew. I knew she was about to announce that Commonwealth Electric Company of the Midwest had won the award! I put my hand on Cathy Maddox’s shoulder and said, Congratulations. Moments later, Cathy Maddox and Brian Lund graciously accepted the award on behalf of all the employees of Commonwealth Electric Company of the Midwest.”

Upon hearing the news, one of the original company founders, Secretary Glen Moss, had the following to say: “This is fantastic news. This certainly isn’t something we anticipated would occur so quickly, but it makes us all proud that the new leadership & their team of employee owners have embraced this culture. Way to go as you continue to ‘pick it up, step it up, & keep it up,’ … as David Firestone says.”

Special thanks to Cathy, Brian and our entire Employee Ownership Committee. Job well done, everyone!